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6th Jul, 2022

Pupils face move after damp problems force school closure

Malvern Editorial 16th Jul, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A PRIMARY school is set to be closed off for a year and its 190 pupils relocated due to problems with damp in the building.

Parents were told last week that major investigative works needed to be carried out at Colwall Primary School and children would be moved to a ‘new school village’ from September.

On Friday (July 11) headteacher Judith Tinsley confirmed and application had been submitted to Herefordshire Council for the temporary buildings to be located on the current school playing field. She also announced talks were underway to secure neighbouring land for a sports field for the coming school year.

Since October the council has been investigating issues surrounding groundwater entering the building and it was thought the damp was caused by two leaking pipes in the boys’ toilets.

But Ms Tinsley said by January it became clear there was a ‘significant’ problem and despite investigations and monitoring the true cause had not been identified.

The headteacher added further ‘invasive’ work was needed to examine the building’s structure and children could not continue to be taught on the premises.

She said the new school provided by the council would actually provide better facilities than those currently on site.

“The children have been informed in assembly and we are all treating this as an ‘exciting adventure’,” said Ms Tinsley.

“We intend to keep parents informed during the holidays through the use of the school website and text messaging service.”

While parents were said to be surprised by the news most appear to be in support of the move.

One mother who did not want to be named, said: “Everyone sees this as very positive. It is quite a substantial proposal which makes us feel confident.

“There will be some disruption but I think it will affect the staff more than parents and children. It is great we are still on the same site so all of the transport and drop-off arrangements don’t have to change.”

She added: “Last week’s meeting was very helpful and we feel the school is doing a good job and the best it can do. At least with them saying it’s going to be for a year we all know where we stand.

“My daughter will be in a portakabin for her final year but it isn’t a bad thing. This is a way of life in some areas.

“We have been promised everything including a library and a school hall. It would be impossible for the children to remain in the school. That would be worse.”

The plans for the temporary school were set to go live on the council’s website yesterday (Tuesday, July 15) and people can visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk and click on the planning section to view the proposals.

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